CINCINNATI - Police began arresting protesters of Occupy Cincinnati who refused to leave Piatt Park early Friday morning.
In total, Cincinnati police arrested 21 people Friday and charged them with misdemeanor criminal trespassing.
Before any arrests were made, both police officers and park officials talked to the people in the park to give them an opportunity to leave the park before arrests began. Most of the supporters chose to stand on a nearby sidewalk and avoid arrest. But a small group of Occupy Cincinnati supporters would not leave Piatt Park. They were peacefully arrested.
Protesters have been spending the last 12 nights at Piatt Park in downtown Cincinnati and had setup several tents for supplies and food. Thursday those tents were taken down.
Police had been writing citations for the protestors for being in the parking after its 10 p.m. closing time. Some of the protestors have collected as many as five tickets.
On Friday morning, the park remained closed so city workers could clean it while police watched. Protesters who were arrested last night stood outside the park and said they will return again once the park reopens. Chelsea Tunnell of Loveland was one of the 21 arrested. "I chose to stay because our first amendment rights are being infringed upon. There is no public space in Cincinnati where we can currently express our right to assemble and our freedom of speech outside of certain hours. That should not be that way," said Tunnell of Loveland. "We are not going to stop until there is some kind of change here."
Occupy Cincinnati is also planning at city wide march on Saturday afternoon beginning at Piatt Park at 2:30 p.m.
Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for additional details about the arrests.
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